Saturday, April 29, 2017

0 Rory Harrison, author of LOOKING FOR GROUP, on leaving it all on the floor

Look no further, we have an exclusive interview with author Rory Harrison about her debut novel LOOKING FOR GROUP.

Rory, what was your inspiration for writing LOOKING FOR GROUP?

This book was a lot of very personal things that got forged together over my sister in law's newsletter chronicling her cancer treatments. I'm not an optimistic, outgoing person by nature, but she is. And I just marvel at the way she can still laugh, still feel joy, still look forward even though she's more aware than most that her time is limited. That's why I dedicated the book to her-- this is for my sister, Donna, who persists.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

This book taught me to leave it all on the floor. I didn't try to protect myself when I wrote this; I surrendered everything and let myself be vulnerable. And I'm really proud of the book that vulnerability let me write. It was hard, and scary, and worth it.



What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

This was kind of a weird book because it changed pretty radically from first draft to publication. Originally, Dylan wasn't getting better, he was getting worse. So it was pretty wrenching to write "the end" the first time.

But there's one scene that changed slightly between drafts, and that was Dylan and Arden visiting the Kaskaskia Dragon. One, I love the joy there-- it's the first time Arden really lets go, and it makes me so happy. But two, the first time I wrote the chapter, Arden had to ask which state they'd get married in. By the time it got to edits, marriage equality had been passed in America. So a really joyful scene for me to write in the first place was made even more joyful by marking that event.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Looking for Group
by Rory Harrison
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 4/25/2017

Thelma & Louise meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in a brave, timely YA about two teens who embark on a cross-country road trip.

Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as “squalid,” and he sure as hell isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid.”

His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Nuba. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Nuba on a real mission, one he never thought he’d live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea.

But Nuba—real-life name Arden—is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can’t always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Nuba’s father (who refuses to recognize his daughter’s true gender), Dylan’s addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

Purchase Looking for Group at Amazon
Purchase Looking for Group at IndieBound
View Looking for Group on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rory Harrison lives in the American Midwest and is sorted into Slytherin. She’s a geek and a gamer: she and pop culture are >>likedis<<. Some of her favorite games include Skyrim, Dragon Age 1 & 3, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 1 & 2, Life Is Strange, Goat Simulator, and whatever else strikes her fancy at the moment. When she’s not reading, writing, or gaming, she’s having very strong opinions about things. Visit her online at www.roryharrison.com.

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Have you had a chance to read LOOKING FOR GROUP yet? Do you let yourself feel vulnerable while writing? How do you feel that has helped with your writing? Have you had a similar experience to Rory, where something has changed in history, which requires you to rewrite your story? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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